The Los Angeles Chargers today announced the additions of Offensive Line Coach Brendan Nugent, Assistant Special Teams Coach Chris Gould and Offensive Assistant Mike Hiestand to Head Coach Brandon Staley's coaching staff for the upcoming 2022 season.
Nugent has coached nine seasons in the NFL and most recently held the same position for the New Orleans Saints. In 2021, Nugent's unit protected four different quarterbacks to average 11.7 yards per completion, ranking fifth in the NFL. In four seasons (2017-20) as the team's assistant offensive line coach, Nugent tutored the unit to surrender 94 sacks, tying for the fewest in the NFL over that span. During those four years, 10 Pro Bowl selections came from the Saints offensive line.
The 18-year coaching veteran began his NFL career as an offensive quality control coach with Chicago under Marc Trestman. Nugent was also on Trestman's staff in the Canadian Football League in 2012 with the Montreal Alouettes as a special teams assistant and offensive quality control coach.
Nugent spent five seasons (2007-11) at William & Mary tutoring running backs, tight ends and wide receivers after serving as an offensive assistant from 2005-06 at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. The White Plains, N.Y., native played linebacker for three seasons (2001-03) at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before beginning his coaching career at his alma mater, Archbishop Stepinac High.
Gould, a 10-year NFL coaching veteran, joins the Chargers after spending seven seasons in Denver, with the last five (2017-21) as the assistant special teams coach. He began his Broncos tenure as a coaching assistant from 2015-16, helping coach the third unit under coordinator Joe DeCamillis and assistant Tony Coaxum. He was part of Denver's Super Bowl 50-winning team in his first year in the Mile High City. Before joining the NFL ranks, Gould served as a special teams quality control coach at Syracuse University for three seasons (2012-14).
Over Gould's seven seasons helping coach Denver's special teams, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus ranked fourth in the NFL in made field goals (186) and third in field goals from 50-plus yards (32). McManus also won three AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors (Weeks 4 and 6 in 2020, Week 14 in 2021) and AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October in 2015.
Gould was a kicker and punter at the University of Virginia, lettering four seasons (2004-08) before kicking professionally in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush and Arizona Rattlers. He was named Arena Kicker of the League in 2010 and was part of a Rattlers team that went on to be ArenaBowl XXV Champions in 2012.
Hiestand comes to the City of Angels after spending three years with Denver helping on the defensive side of the ball. He was the assistant defensive line coach and assistant to the head coach in 2021 for the Broncos after spending two years (2019-20) as assistant to the head coach/defensive quality control. Hiestand entered the NFL ranks after coaching seven years at the collegiate level.
A former linebacker for Illinois State University, Hiestand got his coaching start at his alma mater in the spring of 2011 after his playing career. He spent time as a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) in 2012 and a defensive graduate assistant for Florida International in 2013 before spending two seasons (2014-15) at Notre Dame as a defensive graduate assistant. Following his time in South Bend, Ind., Hiestand was the defensive coordinator at Ave Maria University from 2016-18. In his final season with the Gyrenes, the unit set program records for scoring defense (23.5 points per game) and sacks (28) en route to a Sun Division Championship.
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